Some info about Nijmegen

Trip Start Mar 08, 2007
Trip End Jul 23, 2007

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Friday, March 9, 2007

Nijmegen  (obsolete spellings: Nijmwegen, Nymegen, Nieumeghen - known in German as Nimwegen, French as Nimègue, and Spanish and Italian as Nimega and Esperanto as Nimeĝo) is a municipality and a city in the east of the Netherlands, near the German border. It is considered to be the oldest city in the Netherlands and celebrated its 2000th year of existence in 2005
The first mention of Nijmegen in history is in the 1st century BC, when the Romans built a military camp on the place where Nijmegen was to appear; the location had great strategic value because of the surrounding hills, which gave (and give) a good view over the Waal and Rhine valley.
By 69, when the Batavians, the original inhabitants of the Rhine and Maas valley, revolted, a village called Oppidum Batavorum had formed near the Roman camp. This village was destroyed in the revolt, but when the revolt had ended, the Romans built another, bigger camp..
 In 104, Emperor Trajan renamed the town, which now became known as Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum, for short Noviomagus (the origin of the current name Nijmegen).  In the 8th century Emperor Charlemagne maintained his palatium in Nijmegen on at least four occasions. Thanks to the Waal river, trade flourished.
In 1678 Nijmegen was host to the negotiations between the European powers that aimed to put an end to the constant warfare that had ravaged the continent for years. The result was the Treaty of Nijmegen that, unfortunately, failed to provide for a lasting peace.

The Waal was bridged in 1878 by a rail bridge and in 1936 by a car bridge, which was claimed to be Europe's biggest bridge at the time. In 1923 the current Radboud University Nijmegen was founded and in 1927 a channel was dug between the Waal and Maas rivers.
In 1940, the Netherlands were invaded by Germany with Nijmegen being the first Dutch city to fall into German hands. On February 22, 1944, Nijmegen was heavily bombed by American planes, causing great damage to the city centre. The American pilots may have thought they were bombing the German city of Kleve, which was clearly not the case.  During 1944, the city saw heavy fighting during Operation Market Garden. The objective in Nijmegen in September 1944 was mainly to prevent the Germans from destroying the bridge. Capturing the bridge allowed the British Army XXX Corps to attempt to reach the British airborne troops in Arnhem. Nijmegen was liberated from German captivity by the First Canadian Army in November of 1944. It would take another year before the rest of Holland was liberated.
Some other interesting bits:

Radboud University Nijmegen,  17,627 students and  staff of 4,336 people in the year of 2006. It was founded in 1923 as the first Catholic university in the Netherland

Vierdaagse, an annual event starting on the third Tuesday in July, comprising four days of walking (distances ranging from 30 to 50 km a day), and the accompanying festivities, which have been drawing the largest crowds for any Dutch event in the past few years.

Soccer: Nijmegen is the home-town of the Dutch football club NEC Nijmegen. (Red , green and Black) They play in the top division

Famous people from Nijmegen:
Eddie and Alex van Halen, rock musicians
Limbourg brothers, medieval painters
Henrietta Pressburg, mother of Karl Marx

This info is mainly from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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